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Posts Tagged ‘making judgments about people’

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. (Charles Swindoll)

Several weeks ago a woman at the Y’s Waterpark complained to me that I carried my granddaughter through an adults-only-time section a few minutes before that time ended. The lifeguard on duty apologized to me for her rudeness. Apparently she ranted further when her husband arrived. Although that same woman returned my intentional I’m-not-taking-this-personally smile later in the locker room, my heart had not forgotten the incident, and I had her pegged as a chronic complainer.

Now weeks later I see her again at the park. At first I avoid her. But, I do not want to limit the space I can move because of one person and a maybe-encounter. Besides, I could be wrong. The woman is in the swirling whirlpool center inside the walking channel. Ella wants to explore the shallow edge by the wall. The woman is sitting against one side. She is not facing us. When my granddaughter gets close to the woman I grab my little girl and begin several pretend games. We fly across a lake as birds; then we cross in make-believe boats, as if the area the woman fills were huge and not the space any one ordinary-sized human being can take up. Finally, Ella pauses and says, “hi.” At first the woman does not respond.

To be expected, I think, and then reach for my precious girl. Then the woman turns around. “You were here with your grandfather last week weren’t you?” she asks Ella in a pleasant voice.

Ella says nothing so I respond. “Yes,” I answered. “She was.”

“And we tossed ball together.”

I remember a small green rubber ball Jay brought last week. One week Jay takes an exercise class during this time; the next week I do. (Our first choice is spending time with Ella.)

“I think Ella remembers you,” I say.

And suddenly this woman and I are talking as if we were old friends. A little girl with very little language has taught me another lesson about being open to other people, not making snap judgments based on incomplete evidence.

“Have a blessed day,” I say as the woman leaves the Waterpark area. My day has already been touched by the extraordinary.

first impressions words to inspire the soul

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